An investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority into London Heathrow Airport services for disabled passengers found "wider issues".
“Following a recent passenger complaint about Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL), the CAA’s investigations have revealed that there may be wider issues across the airport with repatriating wheelchairs," a CAA spokesperson told Reduced Mobility Rights.
Last May the Civil Aviation Authority launched a formal investigation into an incident involving a disabled child, and allegations that London Heathrow airport services breached the law protecting the rights of disabled passengers when travelling by air.
This was the sixth incident of this kind involving the same child over a 20 month period.
CAA management met with BAA and its contracted parties in September 2011 to discuss the various service failures the child experienced at Heathrow. BAA reassured the CAA that these would not be repeated.
The latest fiasco triggered the Civil Aviation Authority to begin the formal investigation into the incident of April the 10th 2012, to determine if BAA is in violation of EU 1107/2006.
"The CAA is in discussions with Heathrow Airport Limited and the Airline community about these issues, and we are collectively working to improve service delivery in this area. We know HAL see this as a priority, and we are working with them to address the issue," the CAA spokesperson added.
Heathrow airport declined to comment.
However, Reduced Mobility Rights understands Heathrow airport management recognise that wheelchair repatriation is a problem area that needs to be addressed as a priority.
Reduced Mobility Rights also understands Heathrow airport has been requested to send monthly reports of instances of service delivery failure to the CAA.
The findings come less than five weeks away from the start of the 2012 Paralympics and raise concerns over Heathrow's preparedness to deal with a significant increase in number of disabled passengers during the Olympic games.
About the author:
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Reduced Mobility Rights, Roberto Castiglioni has deep knowledge of PRM regulations and handling procedures, along with first-hand experience as travelling companion and carer of a passenger with reduced mobility.
Roberto is a member of ESAAG. Chaired by the Hon. David Blunkett MP, the Easyjet Special Assistance Advisory Group, ESAAG, provides easyjet with strategic guidance and practical advice on the evolving needs of passengers requiring special assistance.